CHESHIRE — Ricci Construction Group bought a South Main Street property next door to the site where it is building a new headquarters and plans to demolish the former paint store on the parcel.
While company President John Ricci said he’s still considering what to put on the half-acre lot at 1008 S. Main St., it could be the start of major changes to the town’s south end.
Jerry Sitko, Economic Development Coordinator, said there is interest from other developers in properties such as the former Dragon Buffet, which closed this past year.
“That area, over a period, of time is really going to see some redevelopment over there and that’s a good thing,” Sitko said. “That area of town, you’re seeing over 20,000 vehicle trips a day. That’s significant, and would draw retailers and others.”
Ricci said he’s had interest from potential tenants but isn’t yet sure of the final design of the building he puts up at 1008 S. Main St.
“We really don’t have a set plan,” he said. “We’d like something in the retail end of it, possibly a restaurant. We’re taking a lot of suggestions from our citizens here.”
The land is zoned commercial, giving Ricci a lot of options, according to Sitko. Ricci’s company bought the property for $235,000 in October.
Ricci said the former paint store will be demolished this spring. Jewels by Jilly occupies the front portion of the building.
The store owner, Jill Feinberg, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday. She moved her business from Hamden to Cheshire in 2011.
Feinberg is interested in renting a space in the new building, according to Ricci.
Ricci Construction will move from its current offices at 680 S. Main St. once it finishes work on the two-story, 4,800 square-foot building at 986 S. Main St. The gas station that occupied the property was torn down.
Ricci Construction will occupy a portion of the first floor, while Kitchens and Baths by A Matter of Style will occupy the remainder with their offices and showroom. Another tenant will take the second floor but Jonathan Ricci, son of John Ricci and company project manager, said he could not name the tenant yet.
John Ricci, a life-long town resident, said that section of South Main Street hasn’t seen much investment in recent years and many of the buildings could use improvement.
“It’s older businesses and that’s what happens,” he said.
Whatever is built next door to the company’s headquarters, Ricci said he’s going to put up something attractive that’ll boost the area.
“That end of town, clean it up, spruce it up a little bit,” he said. “It’s a little bit of town pride.”